I love playing with my daughter but sometimes I need a break, especially since my daughter decided to stop taking naps at 2 1/2 years old. Well my first instinct is to put her in front of the tv so I can get some dishes done or read a couple pages from my book but I always feel bad for sacrificing my daughter’s time to explore and learn so I can get some peace and quiet. So my solution for this was to find a sensory activity that would help my daughter develop in healthy ways and that would also be quiet and something she would enjoy doing by herself for longer than two minutes.
The sensory activity that I thought of was making sensory rice.
Ok so first of all this sensory activity is VERY messy, I mean you will have rice EVERYWHERE after your child is done playing. Ok well I had rice EVERYWHERE. Let me give you an example of how bad it got during one of the times that she was playing with the sensory rice. She was playing with the rice and was having a good time and then she had to go to the bathroom. Well apparently she still had rice all over her when she got up to go to the bathroom so later when I went to go into my room I found a trail of rice going through our hallway, through my bedroom and it led right up to the toilet. Oh boy was that a fun mess to clean up, NOT! Well anyways my daughter loves playing with her messy sensory activity and I love having a few minutes to myself where I can also feel good about my daughter doing something that will help her development and make her happy.
I did find a few ways to limit the mess, place a cookie sheet under the bowl the rice is in, make sure your child is paying over hard floor and not carpet so it is easier to sweep up and Have your child wear a bib with a pouch in it so it helps catch some of the rice that falls. If you have any more ideas of how to contain this messy sensory activity let me know in the comments.
Now that I have shared probably too much and you are thinking I am crazy for even bringing up something that would eventually cause more work on the long run, I will share with you how to get this bomb waiting to happen together, aka the messy sensory activity rice!
- Rice (I used 1/2 C of brown rice but white rice would probably work better, we just happen to be one of those crazy brown rice families)
- Plastic bag
- Food coloring I used the gel but I bet the liquid works just as well)
- paper plates (not pictured above but will be used)
- An eager toddler/preschooler
First thing to do for your messy sensory activity,
Add the rice to a plastic bag and a couple drops of food coloring. Then make sure the bag is closed tight and hand it to your child. Let them shake the bag until all the rice is colored.
Repeat this first step for all the colors you want.
Lay the rice out on paper plates and leave out for 24 hours to let it dry.
pour the rice in a bowl and let your child use their imaginations and have the day of their lives! I gave my daughter some measuring spoons and cups and she had fun pouring the rice between them all. I also tried putting the containers on a cookie sheet to help contain the mess and it did a little bit but there was still a good amount of mess afterwards but even though it looks like a big task to pick up all I had to do was sweep all the rice and suck it all up with the vacuum so in the end the mess really is worth the play time.
You can also add little toys in the rice to add more sensory fun! What are some fun objects you would add to the sensory rice bin? what is one of your child’s favorite quiet time activities? Do you have a messy sensory activity that your child loves?